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White Sox's offense gets a frustration release

9/18/2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For one day at least, the Chicago White Sox resembled something of an offensive force.

Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning, with Pierzynski ending the day with his fourth career multi-homer game. Adam Dunn had two hits off a left-handed pitcher, one third of his total hit output against lefties this season.

The White Sox pounded out 15 hits, but still found themselves in a battle with the Royals, who showed an aggressive offense the entire series.

Konerko’s home run was his 30th of the season, giving him 30 for the seventh time in his career. It was also the fifth time he has recorded 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in a season, second most in franchise history to Frank Thomas, who did it eight times.

“It’s one of those things where there’s a balance of that’s your job to drive in runs and drive the ball,” Konerko said. “The last couple of years trying to switch up goals and what is good, for me that’s showing up for 150-plus games. If I make those approach goals my goals, the byproduct will be the numbers.”

Konerko moved five home runs from 400 in his career and is one away from tying Joe Carter for 51st place on the all-time home run list.

“I’m very excited about P.K.,” Guillen said. “He’s maybe the only bright thing we have here this year, 30 home runs, 100-plus RBI, with really no protection [in the lineup]. I think I was pulling for that home run more than anything else.

“A lot of people think ‘Well, 30 home runs, 100 RBI, you’re still losing.’ But it means a lot to him and it means a lot to me seeing one of my players have success and have a great year.”

Pierzynski tied his season high in hits with four and set a season high in RBIs with four. It was his first multi-homer game since July of last season, also against the Royals. It’s an obvious sign that the fracture in his left wrist has improved.

“Obviously, it’s been almost five weeks now, so it feels as good as it can,” Pierzynski said. “It’s still nagging and bothering me, but day by day it gets a little better. It’s nice to have a good day, it was nice to win. It seemed like forever since we last won.”

Dunn also had an interesting numbers day while starting for the third consecutive game.

His RBI double of the Royals’ Bruce Chen was his first extra-base hit off a left-hander this season and first since August of last season when he was with the Washington Nationals. It was his first double off a lefty since June of last year.

It was Dunn’s first RBI off any type of pitcher since Aug. 8, and his first extra base hit overall since Aug. 4 when he hit a home run against the New York Yankees. It was his first double since July 17 at Detroit.

Dunn had three hits off left-handers in the series to double his total on the season.

“Well, I think he had more hits off lefties the last couple of days than he had all year long,” Guillen said. “That’s pretty good. He’s going to keep playing. That’s all we have to do, keep playing all the way to the end. Hopefully we finish up with a little smile on our face.”